Northern Maine Community College has been awarded a MELMAC Education Foundation grant in the amount of $24,000 for the 2017-2018 academic year.

The grant is part of the Foundation's Supporting Early Success in College initiative.

Nationally, some 50% of those entering college do not graduate. In an effort to improve that statistic, the MELMAC Education Foundation solicited proposals from past grant recipients to identify areas which impact the success of students as they work toward degree completion. One barrier facing many students attending college is the expense of commuting. In addition, class attendance is highly correlated with academic success and persistence.  Thus, the ‘Gas for Class’ pilot project was conceived.

The project will reward participating students a gas card for each week during the academic year in which they have perfect attendance. Many students who attend Northern Maine Community College travel up to 80 miles each day. Johna Lovely, Student Support Counselor at the College will administer the program and evaluate its effectiveness. In order to help her in this effort, class attendance will be monitored using a system designed and built by the NMCC IT department.

 

Dr. William Egeler, Dean of Students said of the program, “Often, the barriers to college success and persistence are not academic.  Balancing life, work, family and school commitments are not easy. We are hopeful that by rewarding the actions which lead to academic success while concurrently easing a burden for these students we will help them reach their degree attainment goals.”

Students chosen as part of the cohort are excited to start the program and to be able to support their transportation costs, thus alleviating some amount of college-related stress.

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